Hello once more fans and friends and welcome to the latest edition of “Crash Course”. “Crash Course” is a series of articles designed to give readers a quick rundown on all the relevant information they need to know heading into an upcoming major MMA event. Everything from why you should watch, what you should expect in the co-main and main event, and even where and when you can find it on TV is all covered in detail. So let’s get right to it with today’s edition, featuring UFC 130: “Rampage vs. Hamill”.
The Event: UFC 130, currently scheduled for May 28, 2011 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Three preliminary fights will be streamed at the UFC’s Facebook page starting at 6:45 PM ET. Two additional preliminary fights will then be shown on Spike TV starting at 8:00 PM ET. The main UFC 130 Pay-Per-View card starts at 9:00 PM ET.
Why You Should Care: This isn’t hype talking: this card really does have something for everybody. You’ve got a great grappling/BJJ match-up in Roy Nelson vs. Frank Mir in the co-main event. In the main event, Quinton Jackson is a knockout artist while Matt Hamill is the journeyman that’s closer than ever to realizing his dream. You’ve got strikers like Thiago Alves, submission specialists, grinders, wrestlers, “jack of all trades” fighters, and more.
What to Look Forward to in the Main Event: Both Quinton Jackson and Matt Hamill want a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. For Matt Hamill, it’s a dream he’s spent most of his MMA career working towards. For Quinton Jackson, it’s a shot at redemption after some tumultuous years, and quite possibly his last chance to capture UFC gold before he retires. Both men will push the pace and make this fight exciting no matter where it goes.
What to Look Forward to in the Co-Main Event: Frank Mir and Roy Nelson are two very different fighters, but they share several interesting similarities. Mir recently abandoned his super-muscular 265 pound physique in favor of his more-natural 240 or so, while Nelson routinely tips the scales near the Heavyweight weight limit based mostly on the size of his famous beer belly. But the one thing these two share most in common is that they’re highly-distinguished grapplers and submission specialists with fierce punching power. Much like Hamill/Jackson, this fight should be entertaining no matter where it goes.
Why You Should Watch This Card: In addition to the great co-main and main events, you’ve got several good fights on the main Pay-Per-View card and especially the free preliminary cards. If you’re a WEC fan, you’ve also got some big former WEC names competing on the card, names like Miguel Torres. If you’re a fan of the mid-tier, Kendall Grove and Gleison Tibau are competing. The list of fighters competing at UFC 130 runs the gamut, and while they may not be the best the UFC has to offer, they’re certainly an interesting group of good-to-great fighters.
Why You Shouldn’t Watch This Card: As I just admitted, these honestly aren’t the best fighters the UFC has to offer. Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill is a good fight, I even keep promising it’s going to be great, but I agree with the cynics that it’s not a particularly notable main event. Mir/Nelson is good, but then you have to ask yourself if you think Mir and/or Nelson could really pose a threat to the UFC’s upper-echelon Heavyweights. UFC 130 features a host of matches that should be good, sure, but very few of them are particularly meaningful.
Closing Thoughts: For all the cynicism this card has inspired, I’m actually really looking forward to UFC 130. It’s shaping up to be a great event, overall. It may not be the best or most star-studded event in UFC history, but it should be an excellent way to kick off the UFC’s summer endeavors.
And what about you, fans and friends? Anybody out there looking forward to UFC 130?